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Throwback: The Coolest Fashion Accessories of the 90's/2000's!

Photo by Cookie the Pom on Unsplash
We all love a good throwback, don’t we? I know I do! Especially when the world seems crazy and complicated (which again, if you’re reading this in the future, it’s 2020. I hope that explains our current world status). But one of the many things I was thinking about lately, was the fashion back in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. Remember how it was a much simpler, bright, and shiny time? We loved our plastic (especially see-through plastic) and our colors! So futuristic and so new millennium! (And we loved our glitter! And things shaped like butterflies! Why did we think bug-shaped things were so cute??) And let’s not forget those cute shirts with all of those sassy slogans on them! “Queen of the Universe” written in Star Wars font and other slogans and sayings we thought were so cool and clever (looking back they’re oh so cringey!). And despite our futuristic looks, it was also a total throwback time, when 1960’s fashion reared it’s groovy head and platform shoes and sandals came back into style (thanks, Spice Girls!) and so did tie-die and peace signs. Even flared jeans came back into play, which I have to say was quite dangerous, as it made riding a bike very difficult (I’m not saying I ever got my jeans stuck in the pedals and spokes of my bike multiple times. Ahem).

But you know what was even more fun than the fashion? The accessories! As mentioned above, butterflies reigned supreme and so did peace signs and smiley faces. We stuck those on every piece of jewelry and accessories that we could!! So let’s take a fun look back (because I really need this right now, and maybe you do too) at the very, very cool 90’s/2000’s accessories we all loved and wanted as kids and tweens!

(I’m still jealous of everyone who got to shop at Limited Too all the time as a kid! I literally only went there once and that was because I begged for a gift card from there for my birthday so I could finally have a shirt from Limited Too like all the other girls did. I was able to get one on sale and wore it as often as I could in the hopes that people would think I was cool. Sigh. Memories!)

My everything back in the day. I wanted my entire wardrobe to be from there. Still kind of do, in a way.
If you haven’t read my latest throwback post where I talk about the raddest foods from the 90’s/2000’s, you can read it here!

Water Glitter Bracelets

Was there an official name for these? I don’t know, but I loved them! They could add a bit of colorful pizazz and swishy glitter to any boring outfit and make you look oh so cool. Mine never leaked, but the water would always eventually dry up, and I would be left with plastic bracelets just filled with glitter. Not as cool!

Butterfly Hair Clips

Oh, the butterfly clips! The epitome of 90’s/2000’s fashion! Who did not want to twist their hair into teeny tiny twists and then hold them in place with these sharp little glittery butterfly clips? (Lord help you if you stepped on one! They were right up there with stepping on Legos!) They may have been uncomfortable to wear, but fashion is worth the pain! Or, at least we thought so back then!

Shiny and Glittery Butterfly Hair Clips 

Not at all to be confused with butterfly clips, these special hair clips were in a league of their own (sooo much fancier and grown up!). They were usually silver and shiny  but also could come in other bright colors, and, if course, they all had glitter on them. The fun bit is that they were bigger than regular butterfly clips, and their wings were on spring like things, so the wings moved whenever you did a super cute hair toss (you know you attempted that at least once!)

Plastic Inflatable Bags

Remember how I said that we loved our plastic fashion back in the 90’s/2000’s? It must have been something so futuristic about colorful, almost see-through like plastic (much like the see-through plastic phone and colorful Mac computers!) and wearing them on your back as a backpack or dressing up with one that was a purse. I remember wanting a plastic inflatable CD case with water and glitter in it (of course). Never got one, but that’s just as well. Who has a CD collection anymore?? (Well, I did back in the day. And mine would have looked so cool in one of those CD holders!)

Jelly Shoes

There's that plastic again! And glitter! And together they made jelly shoes! (Also, do these count as a fashion accessory? I’ll just say yes!) The most uncomfortable, blister-inducing shoes and sandals to ever be put on your feet, but dang it if they weren't so cute. Also, who can forget that plastic-y smell and squeak of the shoes as you walked around? Bonus points if yours had glitter in them or if you had multiple pairs of them! (You lucky thing, you!)

Slap Bracelets

Beauty is pain and so was 90's/2000's fashion (as we have learned above). So why not accessorize with something that will literally slap you around the wrist but is also a bracelet?? But it was okay, because that painful plastic was covered with cute, bright patterns and was oh so snazzy and in. Bonus points if you asked your frenemy if they wanted your slap bracelet and you could slap it on their wrist really, really hard. All in the name of friendship! “Want my slap bracelet?” “Sure! Ow!” “Oops! Sorrrrryyyyyyy, bestiiiiieeeee!” (Friendships were so complicated and fraught when we were young!)

Plastic Tattoo Chokers

I don’t know how these came into fashion (and how they came back into fashion now!), but these were. The. Coolest! You could get a black one to wear around your neck, or they had rainbow colored ones too. They even had one for the tops of your arms (very Pamela Anderson) and ones for your fingers too! Maybe it was the taboo nature of wearing something that resembled a tribal tattoo (so risque then!), but if you had one of these, you were a fierce fashionista who also might have had a little bit of a rebel in you. (But it was so sad when these stretched out and broke! Or if they had a charm on them and then the charm fell OFF! So tragique!)

Friendship Necklaces

Were you really best friends if you didn’t give each other a friendship necklace? I mean, how else would anyone know you and your friend were best friends for life?? These were the perfect items to buy at Claire’s and give to your bestie, and came in so many different types of hearts, shapes, colors, and more. They even came in bracelets and keychains! But nothing was worse than seeing your best friend wearing one half of a friendship necklace that you didn’t give them! The horror and heartbreak! Being a 90’s/2000’s kid was so tough!

Mood Rings

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Tweenage years can be difficult and tumultuous. That’s why wearing mood rings made it so easy to tell how you were feeling at any given time. Did your ring turn blue, purple, or green? That all meant something! But only if you had your handy dandy mood ring color guide. If you lost that, then you didn’t even know what you felt! (Except you had a really cool ring that changed colors. At least you had that!)

Yin and Yang and Smiley Face Jewelry

Remember how I said that the 1960’s had a comeback in the late 90’s/early 2000’s? Well, what’s more 60’s than a smiley face? Nothing says peace, love, and happiness like a bright yellow face with black features! And for some reason yin and yang, peace signs, and other "alternative" symbols like that were in (probably another nod to the 60's hippie culture!) and were on necklaces, bracelets, earrings, shirts, you know it. Groovy, man! 

Zig Zag-Headbands

Now, headbands have always been around, but what if you had a headband that was plastic, stretchy, and also pulled your hair back in this weird design and made it nearly impossible to get it out of your hair without it getting hopelessly tangled? Obviously some fashion executive thought that in the late 90’s and early 2000's and thought it was the best hair accessory ever and we thought the exact same thing! These were one of the coolest hair accessories that any girl could rock (besides butterfly clips). I totally (attempted to) rocked this look and I probably failed miserably, because looking back, why did we want our hair to look like this??? (I think that is one question we’d have to ask our past selves and we’d still never know)

Mini Backpacks

Okay, these were probably the status symbol of my childhood. I know you might be saying Beanie Babies were, but they was the toy status symbol. Mini backpacks were the fashion accessory status symbol. It was like a step-up into being an adult: not quite a purse, but a small, fashionable backpack to hold all of your important...things. If you had a mini backpack, you had the coolest fashion accessory. And if you had more than one mini backpack, well, I am very jealous of you, and I am currently over the age of 30. I personally only had one mini backpack, but, oh, how I treasured it! It was a plastic (of course) see-through (of course) Tweety Bird (random) mini backpack that I used to hold my watermelon Jolly Ranchers. If I wasn't the epitome of late 90's, early 2000's chic...well, honestly I wasn't, but let's just pretend I was! It would make my whole child/tween/teenhood so much easier to remember that way! And way less awkward to look back on, honestly.

And those were some of my favorite fashion accessories from the 90's and 2000's! Isn't it weird that some of these fashions have come back into actual fashion? My friend's little sister was showing me her mini backpack and I thought, "fashion really is a cycle! I should have saved that Tweety Bird backpack!" (Even though it was plastic and basically fell apart/melted). I've also seen girls rocking the black tattoo chokers too! So strange! Who would have thought 90's fashion and accessories would be in...again??

What were some of your favorite accessories from the 90's/2000's? Did you have a mini backpack? Did you rock those iconic butterfly clips or water glitter bracelets? Let me know in the comments, and if I missed anything else from the 90’s/2000’s! (Should I have included Heelys??) Also, what fashion accessory from 2020 will make a comeback in the future? (Hopefully the entire year will never make a comeback again. 2020 can go back to hell from whence it came!)

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3 comments on "Throwback: The Coolest Fashion Accessories of the 90's/2000's!"
  1. Hahaha I remember so many of these! It really was all about how colorful and in your face one’s style could be, wasn’t it? Great post!!

  2. I LIVED for the plastic tattoo chokers! I don't think I ever knew that Limited Too had a physical store but I had shirts from the brand that I believe were sold at Walmart. This post really brought back some nostalgia!

  3. This post back me in my childhood. I have butterfly hair clips, water gliter bracelates and zig-zag headbands. To these days I forgot about them. Thank you for bringing memories.

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